Monday, 18 January 2010

West Coast Highlights

I would have found it difficult to believe that half of the world goes through December in the throes of winter, had I not experienced it myself. A scorching Christmas Day at the beach is a foreign concept when you’re alone with a 750g jar of Nutella (because Nutella UK knows what a woman wants & that 400g just won’t do), stuck indoors watching cheesy Christmas specials on TV with the wind howling eerily outside your window. The Lord knows that not only have I been there and done that, but I got the t-shirt, wrote the script, made the movie, recorded the soundtrack, previewed screenings on IMAX – in 3D, released the DVD, got ordained by the Queen and planted the flag on the fucking moon too.

So I’m officially NOT on holiday which sucks big time. I’m at my best when I’m traipsing and frolicking and my brain usually operates at its full capacity, sometimes even surprising me. It’s when I’m not on holiday that I come crashing back to reality and the medulla oblongata threatens brain-wide strike action unless there’s a 20% rise in serotonin levels. I always go through a mild depression after a holiday. See, I was not meant to work or even live in reality for that matter.

Anyways, onto happier thoughts and reminiscings. We’ve been practically everywhere in South Africa (most places more than once), but we hadn’t had the opportunity to travel up the West Coast until recently. A lot of people don’t know that I lived in Cape Town for about a year - back in the day, even went to school over there (absolutely hated it at the time…CT for me was a fantastic place to holiday in, not so fantastic to live [as a kid] but that’s a whole other story for another sad day).

My parents have ALOT of friends in the Mother City and I’m not only talking individual friends alone, but their entire families too (brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents etc etc). And they all go waaay back, like 30-odd years. These people became our family during our residency over there and over the subsequent years, their children became the Capetonian cousins we never had. So when I talk about my ‘family’ in CT, they’re not actually my family – but they are…blah blah, you get the point.

As you can imagine, every trip to Cape Town involves a lot of visiting and catching up and laughter and the odd “Haai-julle’s-groot”…because it’s unfathomable that children grow over time…but over-all, it was a great trip. In the midst of all the "yeah-I'm-doing-my-MBA-no-she's-doing-her-Masters-London-was-great-no-I'm-not-moving-back-there-yes-my-hair-is-very-long-no-I-don't-have-a-boyfriend-and-I'm-not-bothered's", we got to drive up the West Coast on a mini road trip, just like I always wanted to. Here are some of the highlights of my trip (only some because I took over 1000 photos):

Upon arriving in Cape Town, one of my ‘uncles’ introduced us to his baby. This pimped out ride took us around CT in vintage style and garnered a lot of attention from admirers. I felt like I was in one of Snoop Dogg’s videos. For added entertainment, the V8 engine set off every alarm of all the surrounding cars as we drove by:
The view of Hout Bay from a scenic mountain drive. There are many picnic spots dotted along the route and the drive is nothing short of spectacular, the stuff beauty is made of:
The Lighthouse at Kommetjie...more beauty and splendor:
Ok, so we decided to skip Cape Point and drove further along to Castle Rock. This view blew us away and at first, it seemed like a great idea to climb down the freaking mountain to get up close and personal with the idyllic private beach. Needless to say, climbing back up the damn mountain was a fucking Indiana Jones mission and a half:
But in retrospect, it was so worth it. The best things in life are indeed free...or on loan since this is a private beach and we were only allowed there through the grace (and generosity of spirit) of the residents. Interestingly enough there are no roads leading here, the only way up or down the mountain is on foot. Words can't describe the elation:
The night market in Cape Town's city centre. We had a good laugh putting on our fake British accents and watched with glee as many patrons nudged each other eyes wide, pointing in our direction like we were part of the circus or something. It doesn't occur to most that brown people may have other accents, apart from the standard Southern African variation:
Table Mountain from The V&A Waterfront. Can't get tired of looking at this:
Waving goodbye to Cape Town City as we headed further up north, the West Coast:
The West Coast National Park has some stunning views of the Langebaan Lagoon. This is a slice of paradise, one of South Africa's best kept secrets:
One of the beaches on the Lagoon. There is literally a strip of land that seperates this lagoon with the Atlantic ocean:
And of course, before I could even take off my shoes I was in the water. It was divine. Unfortunately, my cellphone thought so too, I'd forgotten that I had it on me. But even that little misfortune didn't ruin it for me:
We went for a cruise on the Lagoon on this Catamaran. Yeah, I re-iterate, I need a yacht. Or a long as it has a room, I'm not fussy:
Our next stop was Saldanha Bay, which was to become our base after Langebaan, and this is the view from our hotel room. The room was situated on the ground floor and had a balcony that opened up to grounds, a few meters away from the ocean:
During the days we drove even further up north, to small quaint towns like this one called Paternoster. These places are intriguing because they're quiet and reflective. I suppose this is where the locals come to hide away from the hoardes that descend on Cape Town every December:
We were blessed with a full moon almost every night we were there. It was breath-taking...
Just a few moments in the life and times of moi ;)


  1. aahhh love Cape Town. Only been there once and the trip was so so short but inshaAllah will go again some day. Chapmans peak drive is lovely isnt it? :-)

  2. Ok I want that 750g jar of Nutella!
    Lol, I loved your first paragraph because I'm living it :P hehe

    The rest of your post just makes me want to get on a plane and fly back home.

  3. Kay - With my wonky camera...thanx, it was a beautiful holiday.

    Zahera - Yes it is. I see they re-opened sections that were closed for years. Its breath-taking ;)

    Fatima - Enjoy your time there. Home always waits. The 750g Nutella is currently GBP 2.79 ...and the 400g is GBP 1.80 (& it's been like that since 2005). Here in SA we pay R40 on average for the 400g. Can you say rip-off :P

  4. In last year's elections, there was one party who wanted to declare the Cape as an independent state.

    That woulda been interesting...

  5. I hate that everyone rips us off when it comes to chocolate.
    Chocolate should be free.
    Like air.

  6. On my recent trip to SA, I was surprised at just how breathtaking CT was. I always remember it being beautiful but it really blew me away. I had an awesome time. You're so right about people not expecting brown people to have an accent. I didn't really think my aussie accent was full on but it drew attention everywhere we went. It had it's advantages in that we got great service, people were very attentive and at one cafe we even got our cake and coffee free because he liked the way I spoke. It cracked me up and my cousins tried hard to pimp out my accent.

  7. dreamlife - very interesting indeed :)

    Fatima - tell me about it. I used to pay 1 GBpound for a 400g Toblerone.

    shameema - people's reactions are hilarious! I don't have a brit accent, neither does my sister. But she's so good at it (& the different variations of the accent), it makes it easy for me to play along :)